Hot on the heels of Dr. Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter conviction, Variety is reporting that John Branca, the executor of the Michael Jackson estate, has begun shopping around a biopic of the beloved singer. Apparently discussions have begun with Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock's Montecito Picture Company about acquiring the rights, because if there's anyone you want to tell the complex, multifaceted story of the greatest pop entertainer of the century, it's certainly the guys who brought us "Road Trip" and "Hotel for Dogs." Talk about Bad.
According to Variety's report, the biopic would only cover certain aspects of the singer's life, which either means that they really don't want to rehash the damaging allegations of child abuse, closeted homosexuality, reckless spending and mental instability (instead preferring the squeaky clean narrative of the singer's life), or, and this is just as plausible, they want to break up the story of his life into several movies, telling the saga in bite-sized chunks. We'd personally be up for directing the section chronicling the filming and release of "Captain Eo." Please.
While the Jackson estate had no comment on the Variety story, this news was all but a given. Depending on the creative team they put together (and the story they're legally obliged to tell), this could be juicy, gripping stuff. Few entertainers have brought the kind of frenzied excitement and happiness that MJ, in his peak, provided. And with those peaks, obviously, came valleys, the deepest and darkest his apparent addiction to pain medication that ended up taking his life.
An onslaught of MJ miscellanea has been unleashed following his untimely death, in the summer of 2009 at the age of 50, including (but not limited to) an "Immortal" Cirque de Soleil traveling show that just kicked off in Canada (based on the stuff we've watched on YouTube, it looks joyous), limited edition recreations of his iconic jackets, several books, the wonderful "This Is It" concert film, a super grim documentary that just came out on DVD, and a ridiculously fun Wii game. Of course, the real question is -- who would play the King of Pop? It would be an extraordinarily challenging role for a number of reasons, including the physical transformation that the entertainer went through in his few short decades on the planet. One thing's for sure, though: this movie's going to have a killer soundtrack.